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Senate race winners proclaimed tonight

THE 12 winners in the senatorial race will be known today and proclaimed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) tonight, according to the poll body.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said in a press briefing that they would be able to pronounce all the winning senators by 7 p.m. today.

“All the 12 senators, that is what we expect. We want to proclaim 12 senators by 7 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) night,” he told reporters. Brillantes had earlier said the commission can proclaim eight winning senators 48 hours after the voting period.

He added that all of the winning senators can be proclaimed as soon as the votes are counted, but this would depend on the margin of votes between the 12th and 13th candidates.

In 2010, the Comelec proclaimed the first nine senators five days after election day.

Official, partial results
On Tuesday, the National Board of Canvassers (NBoC), which consists of the commission en banc, resumed its session to begin canvassing a total of 304 Certificates of Canvass (CoCs) including 198 from the overseas absentee voting (OAV) and 106 local COCs.

As of 3:35 p.m., the first six areas that transmitted their results electronically were Guimaras province, Parañaque City, Mandaluyong City, Romblon province, Iligan City in Lanao del Norte and Dinagat Island, with a combined total of 719, 914 voters.

The official and partial results of the canvass showed Grace Poe Llamanzares leading the senatorial race with 391,906 votes. She was followed by Senators Francis Escudero with 356,704; Loren Legarda, 349,357; Alan Peter Cayetano, 342,290; and Liberal Party’s Rep. Sonny Angara, 322,236.

The daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Nancy, became the first member of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) to make it to the top 12, clinching the sixth place with 305,019.

She was followed by the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino’s Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd who garnered 304,352 votes; LP’s Bam Aquino, 296, 256; and Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, 281, 637.

UNA’s Rep. JV Ejercito came in at 10th place with 277,899, followed by Cynthia Villar, 263,408. Former senator and Tourism secretary Richard “Dick” Gordon was at 12th place with 263, 009 votes.

Completing the top 20 are UNA’s Gringo Honasan with 242,973; Ramon Magsaysay Jr. 235, 104; Akbayan’s Risa Hontiveros, 233,295; Juan Miguel Zubiri, 229,517; and independent-running Edward Hagedorn with 215, 121.

Delayed canvass
Meanwhile, the National Board of Canvassers (NBoC) suspended the canvassing of the party-list ballots on Tuesday afternoon because of the numerous questions raised on the handling of votes for the disqualified organizations.

The legal counsels and representatives of the party-list organizations swamped the board with queries, prompting the commission en banc to postpone the canvassing.

Brillantes said the poll body will discuss if votes will be counted separately, conditionally, or not at all.

“Since there are varying positions and rulings of all the parties, including the commission, we decided to go out first and deliberate . . . the better way is to suspend the party-list (canvass) and proceed first with the senatorial [canvassing] so that we can finish the senatorial (votes) immediately, since apparently there are no issues regarding the senatorial canvass,” he added.

The Comelec disqualified 12 party-list groups but these were still included in the official ballots.

These groups are Agapay ng Indigenous Peoples Rights Alliance,Inc. (A-IPRA); Abang Lingkod Party-List (ABANG LINGKOD); Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD); Ang Galing Pinoy (AG); Atong Paglaum, Inc. (Atong Paglaum); Kaagapay ng Nagkakaisang Agilang Pilipinong Magsasaka (KAP); Coalition of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, Inc. (SENIOR CITIZENS); Social Movement for Active Reform and Transparency (SMART); 1st Kabalikat ng Bayan Ginhawang Sangkatauhan (1st KABAGIS); The True Marcos Loyalist (for God, Country and People) Association of the Philippines, Inc. (BANTAY); Philippine Coconut Producers Federation, Inc. (COCOFED); and Binhi-Partido ng mga Magsasaka Para sa mga Magsasaka (BINHI).

Brillantes said the Comelec will resume canvassing votes for party-list groups tonight after the proclamation of the winning senators.

Meanwhile, security forces secured the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), where the Comelec is canvassing national votes.

About 228 personnel from various units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and 51 personnel of the Armed Forces (AFP) were deployed to secure the grounds of the PICC complex in Pasay City.
The National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) will continue to provide security to canvassing areas in Metro Manila and serve as escorts of Comelec officials and in the transport of PCOS machines and election materials to the canvassing site.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the police will continue its election security duties until all the winners in the recently held polls have been proclaimed.

As of Tuesday, the PNP had recorded 81 election-related incidents. Johanna Sampan/MANILA TIMES

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